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EPA Limits Application Exclusion Zones

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule that Application Exclusion Zones (AEZ) for pesticides can only be enforced on-farm and not on neighboring property, reports The Hill. These rules keep people other than the pesticide handlers from being in the area as pesticides are applied. Opponents of the rule change argue that pesticides do not respect property boundaries and that the rule change will endanger farmworkers on neighboring properties when pesticides are applied, as well as nearby community members. EPA argued that regulations on areas beyond the farm’s property are difficult to enforce, and that the modified rule will be more workable for farm owners. The rule also reduced the size of AEZ needed for some pesticide applications.